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Vernon  

Vernon chamber wants people to pressure feds to create jobs

From farm to flask

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce wants people to put some pressure on the federal government.

The GVCC is urging North Okanagan residents to contact the feds and demand tax reform that promotes job growth and local economies.

On Aug. 12, Canadian distilleries initiated a petition campaign calling on all political parties to lobby the federal government to immediately match excise parity with the 2017 small distillers excise agreement in the U.S.

“We must allow entrepreneurs the opportunity to not only survive, but to thrive. And in turn, they give back to our communities by creating employment, using local fruits and grains and bolstering agri-tourism,” said Krystin Kempton, Greater Vernon chamber president.

“Economic development is always important, but it is critical as the North Okanagan and communities across Canada navigate the post-COVID world. Now is the time to give Canadians positive news.”

In 2017, the U.S. government attempted to stimulate job growth and agricultural production by reducing the excise rate on the first 100,000 gallons of proof alcohol a U.S. distillery produces. As a result, there have been almost 1,000 new distillery upstarts since the policy implementation and tens of thousands of jobs created.

Currently, Canada has an escalator tax attached to the excise tax and domestic distillers pay $12.61 per litre compared to about $1.77 per litre in the U.S., and that has made it difficult for Canadian distillers to compete.

Information is being provided to Members of Parliament about the benefits of distilleries to their constituents and communities.

The campaign has been embraced by business and agricultural organizations, and in September 2019, delegates at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce conference supported a Greater Vernon Chamber resolution that urges the federal government to match the excise rate in the U.S.

The petition from Canadian distillers can be found here.

“If you want to see our neighbours and families employed, and our local economy diversify, please sign the petition and reach out to your Member of Parliament and the government in Ottawa. Together, we can make a difference,” said Kempton.



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